15-Story, 4-Star Hotel ‘The Central’ Breaks Ground At 1301 Central Avenue In Downtown St. Petersburg

The Central. Credit: Ellison Development.

Developers Ellison Development, J Square Developers, DDA Development, and Backstreets Capital, LLC, recently broke ground on The Central, a transformative 2.1-acre project at 1301 Central Avenue, the site of the former St. Petersburg Police Department. This significant development introduces the first 4-star hotel in downtown St. Petersburg since The Vinoy, marking a notable addition to the city’s infrastructure. Alongside the hotel, The Central will feature the city’s first new Class A office space in decades, over 500 public parking spaces, workforce housing, retail space, and a monument by nationally recognized artist Ya La’ford, honoring the Courageous 12.

Previously known as Orange Station, The Central’s 15-story hotel will be part of the Autograph Collection Hotels, an urban lifestyle hub that integrates seamlessly with the EDGE District. The hotel plans to offer amenities such as a bar and restaurant, meeting and conference rooms, event spaces, a fitness center, a multi-level theater, and a rooftop pool.

The Central. Credit: Ellison Development.

“We’re absolutely thrilled about partnering with Mayor Ken Welch and the City of St. Petersburg to craft a development that honors its rich history while also meeting the demands of its future,” said Ellison Development CEO Casey Ellison.

The Central Groundbreaking. Credit: Ellison Development.

“Together, we honor St. Petersburg’s past while forging a fresh era of progress and inclusivity. This groundbreaking isn’t just about new buildings; it symbolizes our city’s resilience post-pandemic, pays tribute to the Courageous Twelve through public art, and addresses critical needs with workforce housing and residential spaces,” added St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch.

The project includes a 12-story office tower providing 125,000 square feet of Class A office space, the first in downtown St. Petersburg since the 1980s.

The Central. Credit: Ellison Development.

“Class A office space is a very broad category,” says Ellison. “What we’re going to offer is not only high-end finishes and the latest technology. It will be highly amenitized and driven by the lessons we’ve learned in the hospitality space. It’ll be ideal for employers that are looking to entice their teams to come back to the office.”

Additionally, The Central will feature 14,000 square feet of retail space along Central Avenue and 1st Avenue N, complemented by a public plaza that welcomes visitors with outdoor cafes and La’ford’s monument to the Courageous 12. The development will also offer 42 apartments dedicated to 100% workforce housing, known as The Wye, further contributing to the city’s housing diversity and stability.

Courageous 12 Monument Rendering. Credit: Ya La’ford.

Autograph Collection Hotels, known for their unique design and immersive experiences, will include The Central’s hotel as part of its portfolio, joining other Tampa Bay area properties like The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Fenway Hotel, The CURRENT Hotel, The Epicurean Hotel, Waterline Villas & Marina, and Art Ovation Hotel.

The completion of The Central is anticipated in 2026. Ellison Construction is the general contractor.

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1 Comment on "15-Story, 4-Star Hotel ‘The Central’ Breaks Ground At 1301 Central Avenue In Downtown St. Petersburg"

  1. Great addition to St. Pete! Well done.

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